College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > About > Initiatives > Social Transformation Research Collaborative > Opportunities > For Current Students > Undergraduate Research Fellowship FAQ

Guidance for Students Receiving a Faculty Nomination

You must first seek to be nominated by a faculty mentor in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (LAS). Faculty in LAS have been alerted to the existence of this fellowship, and your professors might approach you to ask if you are interested in applying for this opportunity.

You must be a rising junior or senior to apply for this opportunity (students should consult with their academic advisor to confirm eligibility.) If you have a desire to learn how to do interdisciplinary research on topics involving the histories and cultures of people of color, in the US or in diaspora, and you are willing to commit to taking a 5-week summer course and completing a written research project, you may also approach a faculty member and ask them to consider nominating you for this fellowship program.

After a faculty member nominates you, the STRC will contact you and ask you to complete a brief application in which you will describe any experience may already have had doing research and the topics you are interested in investigating.

No, you don’t need to know how to do research already. The fellowship involves taking a summer course that will introduce you to methods for conducting research in interdisciplinary humanities fields, especially fields like African/Black Diaspora Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, Global Asian Studies and Critical Ethnic Studies.

If you do have experience doing research, that is wonderful! You will be able to describe your experience in your application.

The humanities is a term that includes areas of study such as literature, history, philosophy, the arts, and many others. If you have any questions concerning what counts as a humanities field, please email us at

Unfortunately, no. The fellowship requires students to participate in activities in the fall quarter following the summer research period. Therefore, you must be an actively enrolled student in Fall 2023 in order to apply.

Yes. Only students who are majoring or minoring in the College of LAS may apply.

Yes. However, please be sure to check with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services to confirm your status in this respect.

If you are awarded, the fellowship will impact the number of hours you may work on campus. In the summer, you may work no more than 20 hours/week at an on-campus job; in the autumn quarter, you may work no more than 15 hours/week. International students are limited to 10 hours/week.

Please note: if you are an international student, you must check with ISS to make sure that your visa allows you to work over the summer.

No. Tuition for the 5-week course is considered part of the fellowship award. You will also be receiving a $5000 stipend and may apply for additional funding for travel and research expenses related to your project. The additional funding applications will be due during the summer course.

Fellows will receive $3000 over the summer (between June 15-August 30) and $2000 in the fall (between September 1 and December 15), in regular bi-weekly payments. Continued funding will be contingent on Fellows making expected progress on their projects, as established in the timeline found in the application packet, and participating in all post-award required activities.

The SURF program is actually a six-month long program, which includes both the summer course and a subsequent research and writing period that concludes in December.

By the end of the course, students commit to having:

  • developed a viable research question;
  • built a bibliography of secondary and primary sources;
  • developed a plan of work for the remainder of the summer;
  • written an abstract;
  • drafted a 3-5 page prospectus for a 10-12 page research paper (which will be due in December).

After the course, students commit to:

  • working independently to conduct research and writing per their approved prospectus;
  • meeting with their faculty mentor at least once in July/early August for a progress check;
  • turning in a draft of their paper by the end of August (faculty mentors will respond with written feedback to support revision);
  • preparing a poster presentation of their work at the STRC Symposium in October;
  • meeting with their faculty mentors at least three times in the Autumn Quarter to review draft feedback and prepare for the STRC Symposium;
  • turning in a revised, 10-12 page research paper that responds to faculty mentor feedback in December.

No. The summer course is in person and fellows must be physically present at DePaul to attend the course.

During the summer course, all undergraduate fellows will consult with their faculty mentor and STRC leadership to identify whether or not additional funds for travel or research are needed. If so, they will work with the faculty to plan out a budget and receive approval for any research-related expenses.

If awarded an additional research/travel budget, fellows will be required to follow standard institutional guidelines governing what expenses may be reimbursed. The following expenses are usually allowable, but fellows are strongly encouraged to review the full guidelines that will be provided as part of your award letter:

  • Conference registration fees;
  • Airfare/Train fare—from the applicant’s location at the start of the approved travel period only;
  • Automobile rental expenses, provided rental is made in name of the fellow, and only if the cost of the rental is less expensive than air or train travel;
  • Mileage for travel by personal vehicle, only if the cost of mileage is less expensive than air or train travel;
  • Lodging costs (strictly limited to the duration of the conference or research activity
  • Ground transportation to/from the airport and lodging, and/or to/from lodging to research site or conference location;
  • In the case of approved activities in the city of Chicago and suburbs, conference registration or research related fees only;
  • Fees charged for photocopying or digitizing archived materials on research trips.

Non-reimbursable activities and expenses include:

  • Coursework provided by another institution;
  • Attendance at a conference where one is not presenting original research or creative work;
  • Food, drink, or incidentals;
  • Books, copy fees, or technology purchases;
  • Ground transportation within the city of Chicago (exceptions may be made in the case of late-night travel should safety be a concern—please note any such request for an exception in an email to;
  • Any expenses incurred outside the approved travel dates;
  • Any expenses incurred before the awarding of the Fellowship.